Beyond the Door – The Accessories

In my previous post about clothing I viewed during my recent trip to Colorado, I stated: “There were so many shoes and accessories that I am compelled to put those into a separate post…” This is that post. If I have mis-identified any of the dates on these pieces, please correct me by leaving a comment.


I saw the white pair in a display case in the Stratter Hotel in Durango, which I believe date to 1917-20. Note the embroidery on the toe. The display is augmented with a pair of gloves, and a peacock feather. The burgundy pair are from the Pioneer Museum in Gunnison, I believe they date to the 1870s.

A pair of boots from the Ute Tribe, date unknown. I was quite taken with the scalloped bead edging. The shoes, also date unknown, have tiny mink head detail as an extension of the lining. Both pair in Montrose.


A beaver top hat, worn by saloonkeeper F.W. Koehler in Silverton. The interior sizer band and directions are in the next photo.

Mining hats from Silverton, an adult size straw hat from Montrose, a child’s straw with a brown bow from Gunnison. A modern day railroad brakeman’s hat I got to hold while I was on the narrow gauge train headed from Silverton to Durango : ) A wall of cowboy hats from Gunnison, and the embosser that was used to monogram the interior band with the owner’s initials.


A lace bag, date unknown. A tooled leather handbag that I think dates from the 1940s-50s. A metal mesh bag, which I was allowed to open. I explained to the docent that it was constructed from tiny flat 4-prong studs interlocked by rings. I have a necklace made using a similar technique. All pieces in Gunnison.

Fans, Pins, and Cases

A jeweled hair comb and hatpins from Silverton. A straw fan from Gunnison.

A glove case in Gunnison, the first I had seen, with apologies that the photos are blurry. The sign said that glove cases were used to keep pairs together and to keep the gloves clean since they were worn so often, though I did not see any gloves in this case. The second shot shows a front panel folded down, with clips for something I could not identify. The last shot is a large steamer-style trunk from Montrose.

The Rest…

An ermine muff (the docent said that ermines show up in his no-kill traps occasionally). A watch fob made in prison. A fur collar made from mouton with a heavily quilted interior. A lace collar. Evening capelets, the black one is beaded on the back as well as the front, the other one is embellished in passementerie. All pieces from Gunnison.

A parasol covered in brown water taffeta, with a collapsable handle. The brass sleeve on the handle slides down over the cord-hinged joint. It is very delicate but was also the least fragile parasol of those in this room.

If a yardstick was the measure of the clothing collections I found in museums on this trip (especially the Pioneer Museum in Gunnison), the photos I have posted would measure about a quarter inch on that yardstick. I hope to return to Gunnison to shoot and share more of their collection with you.

In the meantime, I invite you to date these pieces, and if you recognize any of them, drop those details in the comments as well. I have volunteered to assist the Pioneer Museum in Gunnison in dating their pieces, and will forward comments to them for that purpose.

4 Comments on “Beyond the Door – The Accessories

  1. Fascinating antique textiles and accessories! My heart skipped a beat when you said “Steamer Trunk”! I hope our anachronistic geek friends can come up with some further clues on these items!

  2. Such WONDERFUL Pretties !! Leave us see… Save yourself Now – Long rambling post.

    I’m no expert however I own 2 ‘chain-mail’ purses – 1, as you say, is made with 4 prong studs and the other is actual tiny linked rings. I have been told that both pre-date 1920. Mine are plain compared to the one in your photograph, the decoration being a simple geometric pattern in black and bronze tones.
    LOVE the steamer trunk ! Very Lovely ! Was able to find my own recently. None of the inner shelves/trays are left but is remarkable good condition otherwise. Mine has bands of tooled metal, not as impressive as in your photo, but is silver on a blue background.
    Wonderful antique minks and other wraps/collars. Have been collecting those minks also although I doubt if any of mine are much older than the 1920s. Once owned original Flapper outfits, way back when before I began manual labor for a living… Could not get my broad chest and shoulders into them after a few years, so they went to good homes. But Not my pretty accessories that went with !

    • Thank you for dating the purse. The steamer trunk was the first one that i had seen with repousse metal sheathing. The ermine muff was a fun thing to see, I pnly ever see the tails as ornamentation on other things. There were several flapper era dresses at the Pioneer Museum, my focus was intentionally narrowed, elsewise i would have been completely overwhelmed by the place. It will take several more visits before I see (and hopefully photograph) the rest of their textile collection.

Thanks for your note! As an anti-spam measure, comments are moderated and will appear once they are approved :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: